The homeless and street children of Nairobi, Kenya, have a reason to smile after a Catholic parish started a program for rehabilitating and educating them in a bid to help them find a meaning in life.

Nairobi 1Most of the homeless in Nairobi have engaged in criminal activities due to the desperate situation of life they find themselves in. Young children have been left as orphans after their parents died as a result of drug abuse or diseases.

The Consolata Catholic parish church, in partnership with other well-wishers has started various programs for helping the needy within the parish community. The programs include: educational centers - with one already built in a nearby slum called Deep Sea -, sports activities to bring the youth together with other youth members of the parish, and a feeding program.

Already through donations from the parishioners, this parish has started a kindergarten for children who could easily end up in the streets due to poverty. The kindergarten has got modern learning facilities and has become a very attractive center for children from the slum. Already fifty children have been enrolled and all the expenses are taken care by the parishioners and well-wishers, because the guardians of the children can’t pay for the children.

Nairobi 2As a way of helping the youth make an income, the parish organizes a shoe polishing event once every month at the parish. They come to the parish church and clean the shoes of the parishioners after every holy mass at a low cost. The money collected is put in a common box and shared among the youth according to their needs. Usually they do not receive cash but the organizers buy for them what they need: food, clothing, educational materials, and provision for shelter.

In addition, the parish organizes meals for the homeless, bringing them together and feeding them. On the side of sports, the parish has started a program for engaging the youth in sports as a way of nurturing their talents. Together with the youth of the parish, they participate in various tournaments like football, basketball, and hockey.

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